Geoffrey Bowman, Director of Admission, will be featured in the upcoming WMHT documentary on Henry Johnson, World War One Medal of Honor recipient and Albany native. The documentary, “Henry Johnson: A Tale of Courage,” will premiere Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30 pm on WMHT Channel 13 prior to the start of the second night of the three-part American Experience series on The Great War. “A Tale of Courage” will air again on Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30. Mr. Bowman was interviewed for the documentary as an enthusiast researcher and student of the War, along with historians, author Max Brooks, who wrote “The Harlem Hellfighters” graphic novel, and ancestors of the Harlem Hellfighters.
A free screening of the Henry Johnson film and a panel discussion led by director Zeke Kubisch will be held in the New York State Museum’s Huxley Theater on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:00pm. The screening and discussion is open to the public. For more information, and to RSVP, visit: http://www.wmht.org/blogs/screenings/free-preview-screening-henry-johnson-a-tale-of-courage/
Mr. Bowman has long had a deep fascination with World War One. He grew up less than a mile from the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Shrine to the 28th Division. As a graduate of Union College, he wrote his honors history thesis on the Irish in the War. At Doane Stuart, he taught a semester class on World War One, and is known for wearing his helmet (a British made MK1 Brodie Helmet from 1916 or 1917) every year on hat day.
He is honored to be a part of this documentary, stating, “they were looking for people that lived locally, who were passionate about Henry Johnson’s story. Zeke and I connected over social media after he saw an exchange I had with some British professors who didn’t know Johnson’s story… Everyone in the Capital District should be familiar with Henry Johnson; he is not just an Albany hero, but an American hero. I sincerely hope this documentary helps introduce him to a new generation, and reminds people not only of his bravery but how his post-war struggles reflected America’s own racial struggles at the time.”
From the wmht.org website:
Henry Johnson was an African American U.S. Army soldier who fought heroically in the 369th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army in World War I. In May 1918 in the Argonne Forest of Northeast France, Johnson fought off a German raid in hand-to-hand combat, killing multiple German soldiers and rescuing a fellow soldier before fainting from the 21 wounds with which he was afflicted.
Henry Johnson: A Tale of Courage tells the story of his life, his family, and the extensive efforts to honor his bravery and courage after his death. Johnson was finally honored with the Purple Heart in 1996, the Distinguished Service Cross in 2002, and the Medal of Honor in 2015.
Follow the centenary of America’s involvement in World War One on social media #thegreatwarpbs, #ww1 and #ww1centenary. Mr. Bowman also tweets extensively on the war at @gmbowman04.